James Anderson put England in control of the fourth Test as India slumped to 4-87 at stumps on day two, still 243 runs behind the visitors.
England were bowled out for 330 in the second session at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur, on Friday, with debutant Joe Root (73), Matt Prior (57) and Graeme Swann (53) all making telling contributions.
Anderson then claimed the key scalps of Virender Sehwag (0), Sachin Tendulkar (two) and Gautam Gambhir (37) to leave India with a mountain to climb.
Swann (1-9) grabbed the other wicket to fall with Virat Kohli (eight) and MS Dhoni (11) the unbeaten batsmen at stumps.
India made a horror start to the innings as Sehwag played down the wrong line to an Anderson in-swinger to lose his middle stump, before Gambhir and Cheteshwar Pujara (26) took the side to safety with a 58-run partnership either side of the tea break.
With both batsmen looking comfortable against pace and spin, England needed a bit of luck to get a breakthrough and the rub of the green went their way when Pujara was adjudged out, caught at bat-pad by Ian Bell off Swann, although replays suggested the ball had hit his arm.
Tendulkar's struggles in the series continued as he was undone by an Anderson delivery that crashed into the stumps after taking the inside edge.
India fell to 4-71 when Gambhir edged a wide Anderson delivery to Prior behind the stumps.
Kohli and Dhoni then patiently batted out the remaining 9.2 overs but have their work cut out on Saturday.
Earlier, England began the day at 5-199 and Root and Prior added 43 runs to extend the partnership to 103 runs before India managed a breakthrough.
From around the wicket, Ravi Ashwin (1-66) got a ball to drift away from the right-handed Prior, who played inside the line of the ball to be comprehensively bowled, before Ishant Sharma (3-49) trapped Tim Bresnan in front for a duck.
England put on a further 60 runs before Root got a leading edge while trying to work the ball towards the leg side, offering Piyush Chawla (4-69) a simple return catch.
Chawla then dismissed Swann lbw as he tried to reverse sweep the leg-spinner and achieved his career-best figures when he had Anderson (four) caught by Pujara at short leg to end the England innings.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 14 December, 2012 10:29PM AEST